Joe Calzaghe v Richie Woodhall

On This Day…Joe Calzaghe sends Richie Woodhall into retirement

Published On Tuesday, December 12, 2017By Tim Rickson

On this day in 2000, a prime Joe Calzaghe sends Richie Woodhall into retirement

Telford’s Richie Woodhall (26-2) was beaten by a prime Joe Calzaghe (29-0) 17 years ago today, which ultimately ended his boxing career.

West Bromwich Albion fan Woodhall hung up his gloves after losing the WBO world super-middleweight title fight when the Welshman was in his ascendancy exactly 17 years ago today.

The two super-middleweights were friends and stablemates before the fight and still bear no grudges towards each other, despite the leather swapped 30 minutes before Calzaghe stopped him in the 10th round.

Woodhall is a former WBC champion and had lost his crown on points to Markus Beyer a year before fight with Calzaghe fight came up.

It was considered the final opportunity for the 32-year-old to restore former glories, with Calzaghe six defences into a record-breaking year as WBO king.

Frank Warren made the fight, with that honour on the line, for a bill that took place at the Sheffield Arena, at a time when Eminem was top of the UK charts with Stan, although Bob the Builder would knock the Detroit rapper off the top spot just in time to bag the Christmas No.1.

The two touched gloves and went to work, with pleasantries going out of the window when Calzaghe countered to land a right-hand flush in the opening minute.

Woodhall regrouped to up the pace and land the better punches in the second, with his best work coming in the earlier rounds.

By the second half of the fight, Calzaghe had started to take control and he went up the gears towards the finish.

A right hand over the top as both fighters traded decked Woodhall in the dying seconds of the ninth but, despite being bloodied, he saw the bell.

Calzaghe resumed his onslaught when action resumed in the 10th, pinning Woodhall onto the ropes and letting his punches go.

Woodhall covered up and took the blows until referee Roy Francis stepped in to spare him further punishment, 28 seconds into the session.

The fighters embraced as did their corners, with both combatants trained by their father. Enzo Calzaghe and the late Len Woodhall were also well-acquainted.

Richie Woodhall now stays on the safe side of the ropes, commentating on TV fights, as well as training fighters in Sheffield.

Despite the momentous domestic headlining act, the night will always be remembered for what happened to chief support, Paul Ingle.

He was the IBF super-bantamweight champion but went down in the 11th and 12th, eventually having to be removed from the ring by paramedics after lying motionless on the canvas. He was quickly whisked to hospital and immediately had an operation to remove a blood clot from his brain.

On the undercard, Esham Pickering’s world title tilt also ended in failure as he was stopped by WBO bantamweight champion Mauricio Martinez inside the first round.

Neil Sinclair’s world title charge also came up short, thanks to welterweight champion Daniel Santos.